Nov. 3, 2009
Wednesday, Nov. 4 - Stanford, Calif.
- vs. -
No. 16 UC Santa Barbara (12-13) - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 7 - Long Beach, Calif.
- at -
No. 8 Long Beach State (8-9, 1-4 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 8 - Irvine, Calif.
- at -
No. 7 UC Irvine (14-7, 2-2 MPSF) - 12 p.m.
STANFORD, Calif. - The Stanford men's water polo team (16-1, 4-0 MPSF) opens a busy three-game week with a rare night home game at Avery Aquatic Center Wednesday night against No. 16 UC Davis at 7 p.m. Following this contest the Cardinal will head south for the weekend where it will battle a pair of MPSF foes beginning with no. 8 Long Beach State at 12 p.m. Saturday. The weekend will conclude with a 12 p.m. contest at No. 7 UC Irvine.
About The Opposition
UC Davis (12-13) enters Wednesday night's contest following an 11-4 defeat at the hands of California this past Sunday, and has dropped nine of its last 12 decisions. The Aggies are led offensively by the play of Cory Lyle (24 goals), Colin Hicks (23) and Jim Breen (21). In the cage, goalie Kevin Peat has started 21 contests and is averaging 9.1 saves per game.
The Cardinal and Aggies have met once already this season, as Stanford cruised to a 16-3 victory in the opening contest of the NorCal Invitational back on Sept. 19.
Long Beach State (8-9, 1-4 MPSF) hosts the Cardinal Saturday after dropping a 9-3 decision to No. 4 UCLA in its last action. The 49ers, who have dropped four of their last six games, are led by the scoring of Jeff Greenwood (28 goals) and Alexsandr Petrovic (27), while goalie Derek Wiebe-Bailey is second in the MPSF with 9.18 saves per game.
UC Irvine (14-7, 2-2 MPSF), ranked seventh in the nation, has won eight of its last 10 and recently snapped a two-game skid with a 6-4 win at Pacific last Sunday. The Anteaters feature a trio of 30-goal scorers in Cole Bielskis (38 goals), Tom Kruip (37) and Brandon Johnson (33). In the cage, Matt Johnson averages 6.62 saves per game with a goals-against average of 6.43.
Last Time Out
Stanford broke open a close battle against No. 9 UC Santa Barbara last Saturday at Avery Aquatic Center and went on to claim a 13-8 victory. After the teams were knotted at 2-2 through the opening period, the Cardinal exploded for eight goals, with three coming from Jacob Smith
, in the second frame to take a 10-4 halftime lead. Smith would go on to score five goals in the contest to lead the Cardinal, while in the cage Jimmie Sandman
made 10 saves and freshman Scott Platshon
made a stop.
The victory kept the Cardinal perfect in MPSF play at 4-0.
Stanford In The National Rankings
Following a 13-8 win over No. 9 UC Santa Barbara last Saturday, Stanford remained at No. 3 in the Varsity Top 20 Poll for the fourth straight week.
Smith Collects First Career MPSF Player of the Week
After scoring a career-high five goals in Saturday's 13-8 victory over UC Santa Barbara, sophomore driver Jacob Smith was recognized by being named MPSF Mikasa Co-Player of the Week on Monday. The honor was the first of Smith's career, and the fourth for the Cardinal this season, joining Drac Wigo (Sept. 21, Oct. 26) and Janson Wigo (Oct. 5) as Stanford 2009 honorees.
Production All Around
Saturday's performance by the Stanford offense again showed how deep the Cardinal go when it comes to scoring. Jacob Smith led the team with five goals while Travis Noll provided three scores of his own, as the Cardinal only needed one goal from their scoring leader Drac Wigo in the contest. The emergence this season of Noll, Smith, as well as the play of two-meter players Jeffrey Schwimer and Ryan McCarthy has forced opponents to spread themselves thin in guarding the Cardinal attackers.
Tough At Two Meters
Besides getting production from its perimeter threats, Stanford has also benefited from the gritty play of a pair of two-meter players in senior Ryan McCarthy and Jeffrey Schwimer. Each player has scored 20 goals so far in 2009, giving the Cardinal six 20-goal scorers so far on the season.
Staying Perfect In The MPSF
Saturday's win also kept the Cardinal's MPSF record unblemished at 4-0. Through the end of this past weekend, Stanford holds one of two undefeated marks in MPSF play, as USC (5-0) is the other team without a loss in conference play. Should the Cardinal get through this upcoming weekend unbeaten against Long Beach State and UC Irvine, it would set up an exciting showdown between the Cardinal and the top-ranked Trojans in Los Angeles on Nov. 14.
Among The MPSF Leaders
Drac Wigo leads the MPSF with 2.87 goals per game through the action of Nov. 2, while brother Janson is fourth with 2.13 goals per game. Jacob Smith's five-goal effort against UCSB bumped him into a tie for 16th with 1.47 goals per game, and Travis Noll's hat trick moved him up to 22nd with 1.35 goals per game.
On the goalkeeping side, Jimmie Sandman's 8.82 saves per game is third in the MPSF while his 4.94 goals-against average is fifth.
As a team, Stanford boasts the most potent offense in the conference, scoring 12.77 goals per game while on the defensive end the Cardinal is second, allowing just 5.47 goals per game.
Head Coach John Vargas
Head coach John Vargas enters his eighth year at the helm of the Cardinal program in 2009. Vargas' record at Stanford is 163-46 (.780) against the top collegiate competition in the country, and he led the Cardinal to the 2002 national title in his first year at the helm. He has also led the Cardinal to the 20-win mark five times. Under Vargas' watch, 34 Stanford water polo players have earned All-America honors, including five in 2008. Three of his former Stanford players, Tony Azevedo, Peter Hudnut, and Peter Varellas, represented the United States as part of its 2008 Olympic Team in Beijing.